He'd stay out late, just so the alcohol would put his aunt to sleep so he wouldn't beat him. Since he'd grown up, he'd seen he could give, but his heart wouldn't let him. That night, when he saw the thick clouds of smoke hanging over the house from afar, his heart first tingled with fear. He began to run, and the closer he got, the more hope grew in him like weeds. He stopped in front of the whirlwind as if in front of a miracle. The fire went out in the morning and he started to rise from the ashes like a Phoenix.

(Translated by Oana Irina Oprea / University of Bucharest, Faculty of Foreign Languages and Literatures, MTTLC, year II / Corrected by Silvia Petrescu, coordinator of the translations)

Real Fiction is a collective project started in 2013 by Florin Piersic Jr. The concept of Real Fiction continued to exist as a Facebook group, after a volume of stories was published at Humanitas Publishing House. (In February 2022, the group has 7,950 members.) The authors write ultra-short stories, with the texts limited to 500 characters (in Romanian, so the length of the English translation might be a little different) - a flash-fiction exercise on a topic that changes almost daily. The group's coordinators are Florin Piersic Jr., Gabriel Molnar, Răzvan Penescu, and Luchian Abel. (Drawing by Adrian T. Roman)

Versiunea în română a acestui text se poate citi aici, în rubrica Ficțiuni Reale.

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